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Ontario to issue COVID vaccine passport

A COVID-19 passport on a cell phone

Multiple sources are saying Ontario will soon unveil a COVID-19 passport system. The move comes after the provincial government had rejected the idea for weeks.

Senior government sources are now confirmed to news agencies that a vaccine passport system will be announced this week.

Premier Doug Ford is to meet with his cabinet in coming days to finalize the plan, after weeks of resisting and rejecting the growing calls from politicians, business leaders and doctors who are calling for a vaccine passport.

British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec have a vaccine certificate system. Prime minister Justin Trudeau is also urging Canada’s most populous province to follow suit.

"This is about doing the right thing and the smart thing.," Trudeau said.  "Already Premier Horgan and Premier Legualt have stepped  up and I certainly hope that here in Ontario Premier Ford steps up, as well."

Trudeau also said if re-elected, his government would pony up $1 billion to help Ontario pay for the plan.

The Ford government is also facing pressure from many of Ontario’s medical officers of health, like Dr. Karim Kurji of York Region.

"I would certainly be urging the province to consider vaccine passports now as they seem to be the most credible alternative to us introducing capacity limits which is very much like going back to the lockdown area,” Kurji said.

Some medical officers of health have even suggested a regional certificate if Ontario won’t do it.

Sources said the passport Ontario is considering would be required in all non-essential settings, such as restaurants and movie theaters.

Premier Ford had rejected the idea previously, saying it would create a split society.